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Huawei aims to catch up to Apple in smartphone market in 3 years

Huawei, China's biggest maker of phone-network equipment, said it plans to overtake Apple in the world smartphone market in the coming two to three years as it introduces new technologies.

The company plans to raise its market share to more than 25 per cent "in the longer term" from about 7 per cent now, said Richard Yu, head of Huawei's consumer unit. Apple had 12 per cent in the second quarter and Samsung 25 per cent, according to IDC. All smartphone makers except Apple, Samsung and Huawei will struggle to stay in the market, he said.

"Three or four vendors will survive, the rest will disappear," Yu said in a Bloomberg Television interview yesterday at the IFA fair in Berlin.

In a direct challenge to its rivals, Huawei yesterday presented the Ascend Mate 7 smartphone, whose 6-inch screen is larger than that of new Samsung devices presented at IFA, as well as new Apple devices set to be unveiled next week. The metal-cased Huawei phone's physical volume is a third less than that of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, according to Shao Yang, vice president of marketing for Huawei's consumer unit.

The device will retail starting at €499 ($691) this month in various European and Asian markets. It will probably be sold in North America next year, Yang said. Huawei's other new phone is the 5.5-inch-screen Ascend G7, which will cost €299 ($414).

"We're trying to break out of tier two," which includes peers such as Sony and LG, "and break into tier one" to take on Apple and Samsung, Yang said.


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